Toni Ross: HIFF27 Dick Cavett Artistic Champion

HIFF27 is proud to present Festival Founder Toni Ross with the Dick Cavett Artistic Champion Award. The presentation will take place before the Opening Night screening of JUST MERCY on Thursday, October 10.

Photo: Jenny Gorman

The Dick Cavett Artistic Champion Award was created in 2017 and first given to its namesake, Dick Cavett, to honor those in the creative arts who not only excel in their field, but who also support the arts and artists, particularly in film, television and related media.

Toni Ross’s paintings, installations, and sculptures have been showcased around the world and have left an indelible mark on the East End; she is one of its most prolific artists. Toni was the founding Chairman of the Board of HIFF in 1993 and for the ensuing five years, bringing to the organization a deep knowledge and passion for film, and a cultivation of artistic integrity outside of the fine arts. A film studies graduate of Wesleyan University, Ross was instrumental in establishing the Wesleyan Cinema Archives, where she remains on the Board of Trustees. Her career includes work with several film production designers, most notably Philip Rosenberg and Mel Bourne.

As a social activist, Toni is also a founder of Hayground School, where she has focused on the importance of diversity, removing barriers due to financial constraints and arts and culinary education. Ross is also a restaurant entrepreneur, with five East End favorites including Nick & Toni’s, and a supporter of Guild Hall, OLA, and Planned Parenthood, among other non-profit organizations. In a prescient move, Ross founded and curates the biennial series Women Artists: Reshaping the Conversation in East Hampton.

“Toni Ross has been an instrumental champion of the arts and the East End community where she works and lives. She helped to launch the Hamptons International Film Festival and is the reason we are all here today. We look forward to honoring her at the festival in October,” said HIFF Artistic Director David Nugent.

Previous recipients of The Dick Cavett Artistic Champion Award include Cavett himself and Alan Alda.

Browse the HIFF27 Film Guide.

The 27th annual Hamptons International Film Festival will take place Columbus Day Weekend: October 10 – 14, 2019. The Festival is pleased to welcome back returning Premiere Sponsor Audi, Lead Sponsors Delta, Altour and Netflix, Signature Sponsors Douglas Elliman and JP Morgan, and Official Media Sponsors WNBC, The East Hampton Star, and Purist Magazine.